Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christie '16

Over the past week, Obama's gained about a point in the national polls.  There really hasn't been much news in that time except for Hurricane Sandy.  78% of respondents give Obama positive reviews for his handling of the storm's aftermath.  Much of the positive coverage of the response has centered around Obama's relationship with NJ Gov. and prominent Romney surrogate Chris Christie, who has so repeatedly and effusively praised Obama's response that it has prompted questions like "What's Christie up to?" and "Is Chris Christie throwing Mitt Romney under the bus?"

Romney has been basing his argument on apocalyptic arguments of freedom versus tyranny, posing as the guardian of the free market against the overreaching power of the big bad State.  As one whom prominent conservatives used to openly pine would save them from having to settle for Romney, Christie makes a potent messenger to vouch for the ability of the anti-colonial Marxist to work with Republicans in a moment of crisis.  And Christie has gone out of his way to embrace Obama, praising him repeatedly and touring the damage with him.

Why would Christie choose to undermine Romney's message so completely and repeatedly?  As a GOP governor in a blue state, it's reasonable to think he might want to avoid looking like a hyper-partisan.  But with his national stature, he would likely have no trouble raising vast sums to swamp his opponent in his re-election race.

He must be looking toward a presidential, perhaps making his embrace of Obama is an early bet on bipartisanship and an abandonment of Tea Party absolutism that eliminates anyone who even considers compromise.  Such a stance might be necessary if the GOP in 2016 will face running against an incumbent party that just added 12 million jobs in four years.  If demonizing Democrats doesn't work with unemployment at 7.9%, it certainly won't work next time.  Christie's positioning himself to operate in a less-polarized environment.  EDIT: He's also jabbing the guy who strung him along on the VP thing.

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